Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Tagged: career choice

Thinking about a Career in Teaching Part 2

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📥  Advice, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Part 2 of our “Thinking about a Career in Teaching” blog focuses today on Schools Direct route (SCITT), Teach First, PGCE (FE), resources and support for potential teachers with a disability. LATEST NEWS! Find out about a scheme to reimburse student loan repayments!

Schools Direct – School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT)

A SCITT is an accredited body with links to the Dfe and where groups of schools get together to provide on the job training.  A SCITT will often offer every secondary subject if they can because of the scale of the operation. They also tend to target mature students if it is expensive to live in the area and difficult to attract young graduates. All trainees are called Associate Teachers to get the respect and all courses are registered on UCAS with salaried and non-salaried SCITTs available.

One important thing to check when looking for places is the actual number of places available as if a SCITT is advertising history or PE, they may only have the one place. For further information on SCITT see here.

Teach First

The Teach First route is now pretty well known and is fully funded and salaried and available in 11 different areas. It also has partnering organisations such as the Navy and PwC. Target areas are rural and coastal as these are the areas where it has been difficult to recruit teachers.  Teach First will cover Early Years, Primary and Secondary. On this programme you would be teaching curriculum subjects but the different to other schemes is that you do not necessarily need a degree in that subject as Teach First will also consider any relevant A Levels.

The advice for students with non-curriculum subject is to ring the TF admissions so for example if you are studying a humanities subject you may be advised to apply for English.

You will currently need a 2:1 and 300 UCAS points but UCAS points are likely to be dropped very shortly. It is hoped that this will encourage more students from widening participation backgrounds to apply who may have been taught in TF schools and are inspired to teach but may have lower grades. It’s important to note that although there is minimum criteria, no-one is told not to apply. The PGDE is fully funded by TF which is a school based programme, with some teaching days at a university. New recruits are also allocated TF mentors. This programme awards QTS after year 1 and then PGDE and NQT status the following year.

Whilst you are on the programme you have the opportunity to do Insight Days in partner organisations in the First Year, and in the Second Year –years 2 week internship offered with partner organisations.

If you are applying in your penultimate year of degree then it is possible to be offered 1st choice in location. Interesting statistics for the Teach First Scheme show that 60% stay on to teach and after 15 years 80% are back in teaching. Generally TF teachers will get promotion faster within their TF schools. For more information see Teach First. https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/

Teach First will be doing a presentation on 14th November and you can speak to them on the parade on the 9th and 14th November. Check www.myfuture.bath.ac.uk for more details.

PGCE (FE)

If you are considering teaching in an FE college you can take a PGCE which leads to QTLS but not QTS. Most students on this PGCE have a job or placement prior to doing the course. If not, help is given to find a placement. If you are interested in this qualification you would apply Direct and not through UCAS. Graduates who hold a third degree classification may be able to enter this course if they have a good reason for their final mark.

Concentration in FE colleges is on the 16-18 age group so you will not get experience of the 14-16 age group.  If you are considering maybe doing guest lecturers at an FE College in addition to another job then you won’t need a PGCE and can simply apply to do a six day course.

Psychology graduates have more opportunities to teach in FE. You would normally accept a lecturing post and then be trained.

It is important to note though that career prospects in FE are less well paid than a teacher and less secure.

Latest news - Bursaries and English Teachers Required

From September 2017 there will be more apprenticeship routes for students as Trainee Lecturers at the college or apprentice teachers. Bursaries available £9K for English. The reason behind this is that many 16 year olds have to redo English or Maths and therefore have to stay in education so there is a larger requirement for lecturers in this area.

Resources and Support for Potential Teachers with a Disability

There are 6.9 million disabled people of working age.  9% of teaching applications were from people declaring a disability, yet less than 1% of the teaching workforce has a disability.

Often students won’t declare on an application form and declare it afterwards to the admissions officer or personal tutor whilst on placement. However, students are really encouraged to declare any disability on the UCAS application form so that adaptions can be made for the interview if required, but also any reasonable adjustments when considering the teaching aspect and the placements.

There are specific forums to support disabled students such as the Disability Teaching Network Other resources produced by the Careers professional body AGCAS are available to support potential teachers with a disability. If you would like information on these then please do book to see a Careers Adviser by emailing careers@bath.ac.uk

International Students

International students can get on to PGCE courses. There are also cases of international students taking course in Independent schools. Perseverance pays off as there is a case of an international student convincing school that they could sponsor her and they did.

Scottish Students

If doing the PGCE in England, when they start, they need to contact the Scottish body so that they can do the QTS in Scotland afterwards.

Reimbursing Student Loan Repayments

The DfE have just announced details of a pilot programme for reimbursing the student loan repayments made by some teachers in the first ten years after they gain Qualified Teacher Status, with the intention of improving recruitment and retention is areas where this is most challenging.

In order to be able to claim reimbursements a teacher must meet these criteria:

·         Have been awarded QTS between 2014 and 2019

·         Be employed by a maintained secondary school, a special school or a secondary phase academy/free school

·         Have taught languages, physics, chemistry, biology or computer science for at least 50% of their contracted hours during the year they are claiming for

·         Be in a school within one of the 25 participating local authorities

·         Still be teaching when you apply for reimbursement

The participating authorities are: Barnsley; Blackpool; Bracknell Forest; Bradford; Cambridgeshire; Derby; Derbyshire; Doncaster; Halton; Knowsley; Luton; Middlesbrough; Norfolk; North East Lincolnshire; North Yorkshire; Northamptonshire; Northumberland; Oldham; Peterborough; Portsmouth; Salford; Sefton; St Helens; Stoke-on-Trent; Suffolk.

Full details are available here.

If you would like to discuss any of the teaching routes with a Careers Adviser do book an appointment through www.myfuture.bath.ac.uk

On a final note!

This blog was written with the latest information on teaching that is currently available. However, teaching routes and different schemes are constantly changing so if you are reading this blog several months after it was published then do remember to check out the government website for any future changes! Get into Teaching 

 

Thinking about a career in teaching - Part 1

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📥  Career Choice, inspire, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Many students consider teaching as a career option during their time at University. In October we had a Getting into Teaching event so I thought it would be very timely to give a teaching update and what routes are available to get into teaching as there is a lot of choice out there! Many graduates choose to do a PGCE in Higher Education, but it’s worth investigating other routes into teaching. Last week for example we heard the news of the apprenticeship route into teaching.

As there are several routes to cover there will be two blogs – Part 1 and Part 2! Today’s blog will look at Bursaries, EYTS, Primary and Primary and Secondary PGCE and the new postgraduate apprenticeships. This blog will give you a quick overview on the different routes and a few key pointers on what to consider when making your decision from some teaching professionals. However, for further detail do check out the main government website on Getting into Teaching at https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/

Those entering teacher training remains fairly static. However, school led routes have grown now to around 56%. The Government has targets by subjects of number of teachers needed and as applications for Business Studies, Chemistry, music and PE are down were down in 2016, it is likely there will be a real push to increase more places in these subject areas.

So how many routes are there into teaching? Well, there are HEI led, School led, and Specialist routes and options within these.

HEI led
PGCE and PGDE
Also options to train in Early Years EYTS
School Led Routes
Teach First
School Direct (salaried)
School Direct (non-salaried)
HMC Teacher Training (2 year Independent private schools) leads to PGCE and QTS
School Centred IIT (SCITT)
Apprenticeships
Specialist Routes
Researchers into Schools (PhDs)
Assessment Only – must have good experience
Now Teach – London only – career changers – runs like Teach First – early stage
For HEI and School Direct routes apart from Teach First, you need to apply through UCAS

Applications will open 26th October 2017

https://www.ucas.com/ucas/teacher-training/ucas-teacher-training-apply-and-track

Bursaries available for training

To encourage applications from some shortage subjects bursaries have been in place since 2011. The large bursaries given for some subjects means for example that a student wanting to teach a shortage subject with a First Class Honours could be better off doing a School direct – non salaried and taking the bursary than doing a Schools Direct – salaried. So it’s very important to take into account the subject you are wanting to teach and the bursaries offered for different degree classifications.

The NCTL has announced details of the bursaries which will be available to trainees on postgraduate teacher training courses beginning their training in autumn 2018. For shortage subjects you could earn up to £28,000 whilst training for your PGCE! Check out https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-salary/overview for further information.

To receive a bursary or scholarship trainees must be entitled to support under the Student Finance England criteria.

Early Years Teaching Status (EYTS)

An EYTS course covers 3month to 5 year olds. The curriculum will have more emphasis than the primary route on social, health care, child psychology and child development of this age group. It is important to note that EYTS status does not have Qualified Teach Status (QTS). However, it is structured around a PGCE course and you must be prepared to work across all age groups. You wont be able to get any funding if already have the EYPS. Graduates holding an EYTS can teach in a reception class setting.

Various routes within EYTS

PGCE birth to 5 Graduate EYTS £7,000 paid towards fees. A full time pathway
Professional certificate – part time work based. Bursary of £14,000 - £7K towards fees and £7K to employer
Assessment only pathway for more experienced practitioners. Will gain experience across the age groups. Assessment covers 5 days in Key Stage 1 and 5 days in key Stage 2. Assessment period altogether is 12 weeks and included a portfolio.
Many graduates go on to work in various locations including Disney – cruise ships, family centres, nurseries, and hospitals.

Primary PGCE

This route is again a university-led postgraduate teaching programme. Information can be found here. So I thought it would be useful to focus on what skills do you need for teaching in a primary school?

The main challenge teaching in a primary school is that you need to be an expert in all 11 areas of the curriculum. Universities offering Primary PGCE will normally offer seminars in all the different areas Maths, English, PE to get you up to speed. You will also need a good deal of resilience because teaching is hard, but the real X Factor of teaching is the need to be able to get along with children and establish a rapport. So, if you have some good experience of working with children then this will help you with an interview for this course. One additional point to mention is that modern languages have to be taught in primary schools now so it’s a real advantage if you have another language!

Other Useful information about this route!

9 month course with 5-11 age group pathway or 3-7 pathway. Both pathways lead to QTS.

Generally those on the course are 50% new grads and 50% previous career or sometimes women returners.

There are normally three large periods of school based work experience – 6 weeks,7 weeks, and then 8 weeks across all age ranges. You will also study pedagogy which is based on years of research.

The course includes 3 Masters level components leading to 60 credits and you can often complete the Masters at a later date.  It’s worth doing this as the Masters is becoming an important step forward if you want to be considered for promotion.

Working in Special Schools

The normal route is to do a PGCE and then specialise afterwards and do a Masters. Some courses will offer an option to specialise on your course. For example:

Perry Knight from the University of Bedfordshire who offer Early Years Teaching Status advises that those wishing to work in special schools or as an SENCO teacher can do one week in a specialist school on placement and if successful offered a full placement in that area. The student would then go on to do the Masters in Special Educational Needs.

PGCE Secondary School

There are many providers offering the PGCE Secondary and this is probably the best known route and a university-led postgraduate teaching programme. All applications are through UCAS.  Further information can be found on the link above on primary.   A key piece of advice here is to make sure you check out the teaching experience you will get on your selected course. For example, Nigel Fancourt – Acting Director PGCE Course Oxford works only with non-selected schools and not even grammar schools as he feels that students needs a wide experience of different schools.

There is still a shortage of teachers in secondary education particularly in Physics and Chemistry. However, Biology remains oversubscribed.

If you are a Psychology graduate and interested in teaching, then its important to demonstrate enough knowledge of chemistry and maths/stats to get in. Again, those graduating in Engineering may be able to gain a place on a PGCE course if enough Maths can be demonstrated

As in the PGCE primary, the pedagogy taught is key in drawing on wider context and research. 60 Credits are also gained towards a Masters which Fancourt stressed was needed for leadership positions. Its worth noting that for the future research informed practice is likely to be the main model  and possibly a 2 year teacher training postgraduate course incorporating a Masters

Latest News! Postgraduate Teacher Apprenticeships

The DfE announced last Thursday a new post-graduate apprenticeship route into teaching.  The post-graduate teaching apprenticeship is a school-led initial teacher training (ITT) route, enabling schools to use their apprenticeship levy to support the training of new teachers.

Entry requirements are the same as for existing PG ITT routes.  The apprenticeship combines work with on and off the job training and on successful completion, apprentice teachers will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status.  Apprentices will be paid at the rates applicable to unqualified teachers.  Schools may receive further financial support from the government for apprenticeships in the shortage subjects and also to a lesser extent for general  primary. This route is available for candidates starting their apprenticeship in 2018.  Applicants will apply for school-led places listed on UCAS and potentially convert their place to an apprenticeship at a later date. For further information click here.

Tomorrow’s blog will look at PGCE (FE), Teach First, SCITT and resources and support for potential teachers with a disability.

 

 

Graduate Fair Blog Series: The many ways of getting into teaching!

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📥  Advice, Careers Fairs, Graduate Jobs, inspire, Sector Insight, Subject Related Careers, Tips & Hints

 

Teacher Facing Pupils In High School Science Class Infront Of A Whiteboard

This blog entry is a part of the Graduate Fair Blog Series introducing sectors and industries which will be present at the University of Bath Graduate Fair, Tuesday 25th April. Please go here for more information about the fair and the employers present.


I wanted to become a teacher once. I am from a family of teachers so that may have influenced me, but I also like to teach, to relay ideas, inspiration and motivation to an audience or work together with students to find solutions. Do you feel the same?

In the UK there are several ways to become a primary or a secondary teacher, and this blog entry will summarize the different ways and give you additional resources to research whether any one of these pathways is the right one for you. You can also get free help and support from Department for Education, such as one-to-one tailored support in the application process and getting you help with regards to finding work experience in schools. Take advantage of their expertise.


Department for Education will be present at the Graduate Fair. This is a great chance for you to talk to someone about all the different routes available and the differences in applications. Do not miss this opportunity!


teaching3

Training options

You can choose whether your training option is school-led, meaning that your training will be based in a school, or you can choose your training to be at a University. There are also several specialist training options.

  • School – led training

This option is for students who wants to get hands-on training and are not afraid to try out their skills from day one. You’ll get the chance to work in at least two different schools and learn from experienced colleagues. These courses generally lasts for a year and most places do also offer a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education). School-led courses are referred to as SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teaching Training) or Schools Direct.

Find more information about this option, go here.

  • University-led postgraduate training

This postgraduate training option is based at a University. University training lasts normally one year full-time or two years’ part-time. Your training will be taught by your University colleagues. You will also spend time in schools, a minimum of 24 weeks which will improve your practical teaching skills. Your training will lead to a PGCE.

For more information about this option, go here.

Other specialists training options:

With the support of partner schools, businesses and universities, Teach First trains its participants to be effective teachers and leaders in schools in low-income areas. Their leadership programme (LDP) combines teacher training and a fully funded postgraduate diploma in Education (PGDE), which is twice the credits of a PGCE. You need a 2:1 to apply.

If you want to learn more about Teach First – go to their website.


Teach First will be at our Graduate Fair. Take this chance to ask any questions you may have about this graduate programme!


There are also other great specialist training options, such as Researchers in School (for PhD researchers that have submitted their doctorate before the beginning of the programme).

Read more about other specialist training programmes here.

 

funding


Funding

There is a lot of excellent funding opportunities for you out there and you can get a bursary of up to £25.000! This depends on your degree background, subjects you will be teaching and your degree marks. Department for Education has an excellent webpage covering the different funding opportunities.

Additional Resources:

Read about different job roles in education on Prospects and read about the teaching sector.

TargetJobs - Would a career in teaching and education suit me?

 

 

 

Graduate Fair Blog Series: World Social Work Day 2017 - do you feel inspired?

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Fairs, Careers Resources, Sector Insight, Subject Related Careers

world social work day

This blog entry is a part of the Graduate Fair Blog Series introducing sectors and industries which will be present at the University of Bath Graduate Fair, Tuesday 25th April. Please go here for more information about the fair and the employers present.


World Social Work Day was on Tuesday 21st March. Twitter was full of thanks for the hard work that social workers do and how much their work is valued.  Inspired by the quotes and the images from #WSWD17 I am writing a short blog entry giving you some information and links that will support you in deciding whether social work is the right career path for you.

What is social work?

The British Association of Social Workers describes it as:

Social work is a profession that is centred around people - from babies through to older people. The BASW Code of Ethics defines social work using the international definition of social work.

Social workers work with individuals and families to help improve outcomes in their lives. This may be helping to protect vulnerable people from harm or abuse or supporting people to live independently. Social workers support people, act as advocates and direct people to the services they may require. Social workers often work in multi-disciplinary teams alongside health and education professionals.

Where do you work?

You can work in a variety of organisations, from local authorities working with children or adults to NHS Trusts and other private or public sector organisations. You can work with a range of different people such as children, older people, refugees and asylum-seekers, the homeless, people with drug addiction and many more. Where people need support, a social worker is usually needed.

How do you become a social worker?

There are different routes to becoming a social worker. You can take a social work undergraduate degree or a postgraduate two year master’s degree. There may be bursaries but this changes year by year and you will need to research whether funding is available for you.  Two fast-track schemes also exist. Step-Up is an intensive full-time training programme that covers everything trainee social workers need to know in 14 months and is funded. Frontline is a two year funded full-time training programme, benefitting from intensive practical and academic training.


NB Frontline will be at our graduate fair in April! Take advantage of having social work experts at the fair and ask any questions you may have!


You can find more information on routes into social work here.

What you should think about before making a decision to become a social worker

  • The challenges of social work

Being a social worker is not an easy job, it is emotionally demanding and you often see a negative view of social workers in the media. Positive stories are rarely shared.  You need to be resilient and have a good support network around you to be able to successfully be a social worker. A good supporting network at work and at home is vital. Many students go into social work because they want to make a difference. Because you want to make a difference you are in a danger of putting all your time and energy into the work day and may quickly feel the effects of stress. A heavy workload is normal,  you need to be creative and adaptable to change and be prepared to have good time management skills. This is not a straight 9 to 5 job as you may have a lot of assessments to write up after your working day.

  • The rewards of social work

Social work is not known as a profession where you get a lot of rewards, however social workers value their position as someone who can support people in a crisis and help them back on track, help people achieve their goals and be able to see for themselves when progress is being made. This can be as little as support someone with severe anxiety go outside for a dog-walk to helping someone to turn their life around from a life of adolescent crime to be a valued member of his or her community. It is important for a social worker to remember the successes as a small change supported by a social worker can be a massive change for the client he or she helps.

You can read some examples of the rewards of social work here.

How to learn more about the world of social work

To be able to start your study you are expected to have an awareness of the challenges and rewards of the social work profession and for the postgraduate degree you will need to have some experience. You can get this by researching, volunteering or gaining paid work, and talking to people in the profession. Attend relevant employer events on campus, attend any events put on by professional bodies or Step-Up and Frontline, such as our graduate fair in April, see if there are any relevant volunteering opportunities by contacting Volunteering Centre, speak to your academics, and see if there are any social workers in your network of family and friends. You are also welcome to come and see a Careers Adviser with any questions you may have.

Asking, learning, volunteering and listening will help you decide whether this is the right career path for you. Read through additional information on University of Bath Bsc Social Work,  Prospects and The Association of British Social Workers

socialworker2

 


 

 

My story: working internationally - broadening your horizons

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Uncategorized

Broadening your horizons – working internationally

international horizons

Working abroad can be an incredible experience. I have worked in three different countries; USA, UK and Norway (I am Norwegian) and I have volunteered teaching English in China and Argentina. I have had some amazing experiences which I don’t want to change for the world, but at the same time it is important to be prepared and realise that applying for jobs and working abroad may bring its own issues as well. This is my personal story on how working internationally has changed me, broadened my horizons and made me who I am today, but I will also share some important lessons as well.

 

Thinking about working internationally?

Thinking_(2808468566)

You want to work overseas and have a real wish to explore the world? Then go for it! However, do consider any language, visa or work permit requirements of the country you are going to. Finding a job in Argentina without speaking Spanish will limit the job opportunities straight away. In addition, if you would like to work in Norway you are pretty much limited to bar and café work if you do not speak Norwegian. You may also have visa limitations. After going to University in the US, I had a year’s work permit, which I was sure I could extend. I was six months in to a job I loved, with colleagues I loved in a city I loved (Seattle), when I found out that the work permit could not be extended. I did not have a job that fit the visa requirements and had to leave the country within the next 4 weeks, saying goodbye to everyone in the process. My lesson to you is therefore to research as much as possible before you go!

 

Applying for jobs internationally?

5

Be aware that applying for jobs and selection processes may be slightly different depending on which country you are looking to work in. After 15 years in the UK I moved back to Norway in 2014. Networking and who you know is very important with regards to applying for jobs in Norway and as I had not kept many social networks, I discovered that in the interview process many of the interview attendees already worked for the company or knew someone in the company. In addition, the interview questions were personality-based (similar to strength-based), as they did not care too much about your skills or experience but instead they wanted to figure out whether you, as a person, would fit in the company. The whole interview normally just turned into an informal chat. Being used to competency-based questions from the UK I must say it took a couple of interviews to adapt! Researching how different countries have different selection processes and also what websites to look at to find work, is therefore important.

We have some excellent links and resources on our website, also Prospects and TargetJobs have wonderful resources and country guides for you to look through,

 

Working internationally

1422252629_how-to-find-a-job-abroad

So you have researched where you want to go and have successfully applied for a job overseas. Well done, your year(s) ahead may be full of new adventures, new friendships, perhaps learning a new language and, of course, a new job. In my last job in the US I worked at a US-Asian NGO and I learnt so much in few months I was there (before my visa expired) and met some amazing people from the US as well as many Asian countries. In some ways it laid the basis for the person I am today, I learnt to work with people from different cultures and with different ways of communicating and working. For example, any decision whether small or large always had to be made together, so I attended lots and lots of meetings in this job with people from all levels of seniority. In addition, I learnt the importance of company health insurance in the US and the very limited number of holiday days you get! In Norway, on the other hand, I learnt that in addition to your normal sick days, as a mother (or father) you get additional sick days for your child. You learn quickly that there are different ways of working, of communicating or solving issues. These are just some of the charms of working abroad and will really benefit you in any jobs and teams in the future.

Apart from the job, you now have the opportunity to explore the city and the country you are in. Be a tourist, be a local, try new food, connect with people, learn new customs, find new activities, explore your new life! I still think that some of the best seafood I have ever had is from Seattle harbourside, the best food overall is from China, I have visited old castles and palaces, volcanoes and mountain ranges, learnt that I actually do like walking in nature and have met some wonderful people along the way.

 

After working internationally

ADAPT2

So, you have decided to come home again from working overseas.  I have learnt a lot from working abroad, but it is my ability to adapt to different circumstances and different people which I value the most. You learn different ways of working, different ways of applying for jobs and you get to know a different country, often getting to know the country “the local way” if you stay long enough. In addition, I have learnt a lot about myself in the process, increasing my self-confidence and awareness of myself and other people, whatever area of the world they are from.

Employers in the UK really look positively on people with international experience, as they bring back valuable skills, a creative outlook, different experiences, networks and the ability to adapt to any situation and communicate to people from a variety of backgrounds.  Maybe you can find a job in an international company that can take advantage of your expertise in a specific country? I have found that my international experience has interested employers, it is usually a topic of conversation in interviews and I have gained employment at least in some part owing to my experience overseas. Therefore, if you feel up to the challenge and think you will truly enjoy and thrive living in a different country, then go for it! It will be an adventure of a lifetime and you will change as a person.

Want to get to know other people who have worked abroad? Have a look at our international case studies.

So what happened to me?

I still work “overseas” as I have found my second home here in the UK, learning to live life “the local way”.  Now I can’t imagine to be anywhere else. I have lived here for nearly 16 years in total. So be aware that “a few years working abroad” may turn into a lifetime........

 

 

 

Finding a Job other than a “Graduate Scheme”

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📥  Advice, Applications, Careers Resources, Graduate Jobs, inspire, Networking, Tips & Hints

Finding a Job other than a “Graduate Scheme”

graduates

 

So, you have applied to several graduate schemes but have not been successful or perhaps you have not had the time to apply, or maybe you are not interested in applying to a graduate scheme at all? Well, there are plenty more opportunities for you.


Laura from Careers Services is delivering an excellent talk on “Finding a Job other than a “Graduate Scheme” on Wednesday 15th February 17:15 – 18:05, make sure to book your place through MyFuture!


It is the bigger employers in certain sectors that offer graduate training schemes. Smaller to medium enterprises (SMEs) generally don’t have the time or the money to develop and plan big schemes. In many SMEs you may find that you can develop your skills more broadly and informally than in a big company. Generally, you may be able to gain experience in different roles with different responsibilities in a smaller company.

So what do you do next? Well, one point you have to consider is that smaller companies tend to only recruit when there is actually a role available, they do not think too much of the timings of an academic year! Some smaller companies may not even advertise at all, and just pick from their earlier trainees or perhaps from speculative applications or from networking. What I want to convey is that you may not find the job you want just by perusing job search sites online!

Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

  • Research and find out about potential employers

Find out about companies and organisations out there, think about where you want to work and in what type or organisation you would like to work in. Would you like to work in a small organisation or perhaps would you prefer to work close to home?

  1. Check our Occupational Research section on our website.  This has links to professional bodies, job vacancy sites and other relevant information organised by job sector
  2. Check our Job Hunting by Region section on our website for company directories in all UK regions.
  3. Research job roles on prospects.ac.uk which has over 400 job profiles which include important information about the role, skills needed and also links to job vacancy and professional bodies.
  4. You can also research companies through library databases, see my earlier blog post on how to do this.
  5. Use LinkedIn to identify employers, see earlier blog post on how to do this.
  6. Check MyFuture and look through the Organisations link from the menu bar. This is a list of organisations that University of Bath have been in contact with at some point.
  7. We may have some relevant help sheets for you, specific to your degree. Check our Help Sheet section on our website.

 

Search for job adverts online / hard media

  1. Some of the above links have direct links to job sites online, but there are also other job websites which are normally used, my personal favourite is Indeed, however it can be confusing at first to find what you are looking for. Make sure to search relevant key words.  The University of St Andrews has an excellent list on their website: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/careers/jobs-and-work-experience/graduate-jobs/vacancy-sites/uk/jobhuntingontheinternet/
  2. Check newspapers; local, regional and national websites can have job adverts listed, both in hard copy and online.
  3. Some companies and organisations do not use job websites to recruit new staff and only advertise their new roles on their own website, so always good to check!

Social networking / applying speculatively

  1. Use your contacts: friends, family, co-workers, academics, coaches and ask them to ask around too, you never know what may come out of it. Make sure people around you know that you are looking for a job. A few years ago I was searching for a job and as all my friends knew, I received interesting opportunities in my email inbox every week, especially from friends who were already searching for a job and kept me in mind when trawling through websites online or networking.
  2. Go to networking events, career fairs, sector-specific events, specific employer events, both on or off campus. You can find our events on MyFuture. You never know who you may meet.
  3. Use social media to connect, follow and interact with potential employers. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can all be used, but make sure to stay professional!
  4. If you find a company or organisation you really like the look at, but you can’t find a vacancy, apply speculatively with an email and your CV, but make sure to try and find a contact name  to send it to and write a professional targeted cover letter in the email.

Use recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies may be a good option, check our link on our website  for more information.

Further information

I wish you all the best in your job hunting, if you want more information about this topic, please go to the talk (as mentioned above) or you can find lots of great information in our Finding a graduate job – guide, which can also be picked up in our office in the Virgil Building, Manvers Street, Bath city centre.

finding-grad-job-cover

 

 

 

 

Choosing between career options

  

📥  Career Choice

I've spoken to quite a few people recently who have said something on the lines of  'I'm considering career option x, but I'm also interested in option y; how do I know which is right for me?' If you're feeling this way you might find it helpful to have a 1:1 chat with a careers adviser, but here's a few thoughts on how to go about choosing between options.

1. Recognise that there isn't necessarily just one thing you would find satisfying and be good at, so don't put too much pressure on yourself to narrow things down to just one option. I suspect lots of us are suited to more than one thing.

2. Sometimes fear of making the 'wrong' decision can hold us back from making any decision. The nature of work is changing; it's much more common than it used to be to switch jobs/companies/sectors. Decisions can of course have consequences, but it's worth bearing in mind that any decision you make at this stage is unlikely to be catastrophic or irrevocable. We are constantly changing and developing as people, and our careers are influenced by externals factors such as economic conditions and personal and family circumstances, so even if you do have a fixed career plan at this point you might find that you have a different plan in a few months' or years' time.

3. Do you know enough about what you want from a job? Sometimes I've seen people struggle to decide between career options because they've tried to think too early about particular jobs they could do without having a broader sense of what their looking for from a career. What has motivated you from your course, work experience, extra curricular activities, or life in general? What day-to-day activities do you want to do as part of a job? What type of environment would suit you? Do you want to use your subject? Work in a particular geographical location? Have a good work-life balance? Our online guidance tools can help you answer some of these questions; as could a careers guidance appointment with one of our impartial, friendly careers advisers. Choosing between options can be easier if you have some criteria to weigh your options against.

4. Have you done enough research into the options you're considering? Are there any gaps in your knowledge and how can you fill these? Use our online careers resources and sites such as Prospects and Target Jobs to thoroughly research your options, and wherever you can, talk to people already doing the jobs you are interested in; use social media and Bath Connection to find Bath alumni contacts, and ask people what they actually do day-to-day and what are the best and worst things about their job. Check out any assumptions you have about what particular jobs or organisations are like.

5. Get some experience. This could be work shadowing, a summer internship, or a placement. Check out our Finding Working Experience Guide for more information and advice.

6. Work out your decision-making style. How have you made decisions about other aspects of your life and how could this help you in your career decision-making? Evaluative decision-makers like to engage in a process of self-reflection and identify long-term career goals. Strategic decision makers like to weigh up the pros and cons of options to reach a fixed solution. Opportunistic decision makers will seize opportunities when they come along.

7. Favourite resource alert! I really like this tool from Careers - in Theory by David Winter, which helps you to think through the similarities and differences between any career options you are researching and considering.

8. Take the wide-angle view. Where are you now and what would you like your life to look like in five years' time? Sure, we can't always know/predict/control these things, but sometimes having a longer-term 'vision' for your life or career can help provide clarity on short-term decisions.

9. Visualisation. This can be a helpful technique if you've done lots of research and are still finding it hard to decide between x and y. Imagine yourself in each situation. What is happening? Who else is there? How do you feel about it? Do you have any regrets about roads not taken?

For further help and resources, take a look at the Choose a Career section of our website.

 

 

 

Personal Profiles on CVs - Yes or a No, No?

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📥  Advice, Applications, Careers Resources, Tips & Hints

This week, we are running our #GetAhead webinars; I am just finishing writing the CV's and Applications talk and found myself in a debate with colleagues over personal profiles on CV's.


Career profiles, personal profiles, career objective, personal statement - are all variations on the same theme, if you google CV tips you'll comer across as many CV's with as you will without personal profiles. The million dollar question is "do you need one?" A quick poll in the office split the vote: some of the team swear by them and others don't (I sit in this category). No wonder students are confused with all this contradictory information.

So, how do you decide whether you should have one?

Firstly, the purpose of a CV, is to grab the attention of the reader and get them interested in knowing more about you. The CV by itself won’t lead to a job offer or a place on a postgraduate course, but it may well be the deciding factor in whether you are shortlisted for an interview. Think about a film trailer. The whole point is to grab your attention enough to make you buy a ticket and watch the whole film. There are good and bad film trailers; some pretty much leave you feeling like you've seen the movie already. Therefore, you need to take the same approach with designing your CV. What can you tell the reader that'll grab their interest and make them want to read the rest of your CV. You don't want to give it all away either...! It is a fine balancing act.

Career profiles, personal profiles, career objective, personal statement... will be the first thing and employer reads about you. They'll form a judgement or two, so if you are going to include one; make sure it is having the right impact. There is also a distinction between a personal profile and a career objective. A personal profile highlights your current situation, skills and unique selling points (USP). A career objective describes the type of job you’re looking for, and where. University of Warwick careers provide useful examples:

Career objective

Computer science graduate seeking challenging position in software development company to fully utilise my Java programming skills and confidence with concurrency and multi-threading.

Personal profile

A highly motivated computer science graduate with a first class degree, experience in Java and award winning undergraduate dissertation.

In practice, often the two often merge to create a hybrid statement, along the lines of:

Highly motivated and enthusiastic  graduate, with an excellent academic credentials including first class degree. Looking for a graduate position, where my Java programming knowledge and strong problem solving skills can be fully utilised.

I will let you judge whether the above make an impactful first impression or not. BUT, If you are going to add a profile, do consider these tips:

  • Avoid a bland statement awash with a collection of vague adjectives and buzzwords.
  • Tailor your profile for each employer and role, highlighting those areas of experience most relevant to the specific job and ensuring your career aspirations exactly match the role on offer
  • Do a blind test - would your personal statement apply to 10 other people? If yes, then re-write it. Think what makes you unique.
  • Read your statement aloud and apply the ‘so what’ test? If your intended audience could respond with a ‘so what’, the chances are they will.

Now to answer the question, personal profiles on CVs - Yes or a No, No?

My personal view is; that it is very difficult for a student or recent  graduate to offer the range of experience and knowledge that transforms a bland, generic statement into an impressive, eye catching profile. I usually advice against unless you are changing careers or have significant experience in the field you are considering. I would be interested to hear the views of our readers, so do please comment.

 

Enable: Careers Events to support Disabled Students

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Tips & Hints

The Enable Careers Events been developed by the Disability Advice Team, the Counselling & Wellbeing Service and the Careers Team at Bath to support students with a physical disability, mental health issue or a learning difficulty.  The programme is made up of webinars (which you can participate in remotely) and concludes with a practical workshop.

Webinar: To disclose or not to disclose your disability?
Wednesday 18 February 2015
1:00-1:45pm

This session will provide an opportunity for participants to consider the pros and cons of disclosing a disability to an employer. We will also discuss the different stages of the selection process and provide guidance on when to disclose. The session will conclude with tips and advice so you feel confident discussing your disability.

Webinar: Job hunting with a disability
Wednesday 25 February 2015
1:00-1:45pm

Making the transition from education into employment is a challenging process for anyone and with a disability, it can be even more daunting. This webinar will answer questions such as what reasonable adjustment should you expect in the selection process and within employment. We will also signpost you to relevant organisations and resources to help you identify friendly employers.

Webinar: Developing resilience in your job search
Wednesday 4 March 2015
1:00-1:45pm

Finding the right placement, internship or graduate role takes time. Along the way you may face knocks; therefore developing a degree of resilience is an essential coping ingredient. This webinar will provide guidance on how you can develop your resilience and manage negative thinking. This session will be delivered by the University's Wellbeing and Counselling team.

Workshop: Succeeding in assessment centres
Wednesday 11 March 2015
4:15-6:05pm

This ½ day training session is designed to help you understand what employers look for in the selection process. There will be short teaching sessions and opportunities to practice skills such as interviews, CV writing and participate in group discussions in a supportive environment. The trainer will provide plenty of opportunities to ask questions and discuss any concerns about the impact of your disability on recruitment.

For more information and to register please log into MyFuture.

Researching Career Sectors

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📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints

Here are our 5 top tips to research career sectors:

career sector

 

  1. Look at sector overviews:  Prospects, TARGETjobs and Inside Careers offer good sector overviews as well as example job profiles for multiple sectors.
  2. Talk to alumni: Log into Bath Connection and talk to Bath alumni working in a wide range of industries.
  3. Consult professional bodies:  find the professional body for the sector you are interested in and check out the latest news, developments and any detailed careers advice.
  4. Use library resources: current Bath students have access to tools such as Hoovers, MarketLine and Passport which provide sector overviews, detailed company information and links to relevant news. Do also check out the detailed information resources produced by the careers team.
  5. Engage with employers on-campus: keep an eye out for the Careers Service's spring programme, as always we will be inviting a wide range of employers who will talk about graduate opportunities, participate in careers fairs and deliver skills session.